New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday congratulated former Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on taking over as the 14th Prime Minister of Israel and said he looks forward to strengthening the bilateral strategic partnership. Yair Lapid thanked him and said India is an important partner and close friend of Israel.
In tweets, PM Modi said:
“Warm wishes and heartiest congratulations to His Excellency @yairlapid for assuming the premiership of Israel. I look forward to continue furthering our strategic partnership as we celebrate 30 years of full diplomatic relations.”
PM Modi also thanked former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for being a true friend of India, and wished him success in his new role, as alternate prime minister.
“Thank you His Excellency @naftalibennett for being a true friend of India. I cherish our fruitful interactions and wish you success in your new role.”
New Israeli PM Yair Lapid in a tweet posted.
“Thank you, @NarendraModi.
“India is an important partner and close friend of Israel.
“I look forward to working together to deepen this friendship & strengthen the special ties between our two countries.”
On Thursday former Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid switched seats with Naftali Bennett in Israel’s parliament, as he became the country’s new prime minister.
He officially became prime minister at the stroke of midnight between Thursday and Friday, taking office as the 14th premier in Israel’s history.
Lapid’s term leading the country could be a fairly short one, as he takes over a caretaker government ahead of national elections on November 1.
Bennett — who announced on Wednesday that he will not run in the next election — is set to remain in the government as alternate prime minister. He will also continue to hold responsibility for the country’s Iran policy.
The Israeli Knesset voted to dissolve itself and head to its fifth election in just three years, leading to Yair Lapid, who served as alternate prime minister and foreign minister in the outgoing government, becoming the Jewish state’s prime minister.
Lapid has been the head of the center-left Yesh Atid, which he founded in 2012. Yesh Atid has consistently polled among the top five parties in Israel and is the second-largest party in the outgoing government.
He is also taking over at a pivotal time for Israelis. On the foreign policy front, Lapid will play host to US President Joe Biden’s first official trip to the country as president in July.
Yair Lapid began his public career as a journalist and TV presenter, acted in movies and commercials, published 12 books, and wrote two television series. Lapid entered politics in 2012, founding the Yesh Atid (There Is a Future) liberal Zionist party.